Looking ahead to this Thursday Night, the New York Jets will host the Denver Broncos. Both teams are winless. The Broncos are coming off a 28-10 loss to the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Broncos will look very different this week, it has been reported that they will start journeyman Brett Rypien at quarterback. The Jets continue to be decimated with injuries as starters Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, Le’Veon Bell, are on the sideline. Coach Adam Gase said that the Jets will look healthier Thursday night. Wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Jeff Smith expected to return. Right tackle George Fant remains questionable to play, but center Connor McGovern and stud Mekhi Becton are expected to be in the lineup. The line for the game right now is currently even as both teams have not displayed enough to be warranted a favorite.
The Denver Broncos came into the season poised to be a faster, high-powered offense. That all came to a halt with injuries to quarterback Drew Lock, running back Phillip Lindsay, and wide receiver Courtland Sutton. Even with those injuries, Denver still has a couple of quality players on the offense. Running back Melvin Gordon and rookie Jerry Jeudy have struggled this season, but look to bounce back against a lackluster Jets defense. Gang Green did a poor job stopping the run last week as Quinnen Williams and the rest of the defensive line struggled to generate any movement in the trenches.
The Jets pass rush was flat out non-existent, outside of young defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers who played his best game in green and white. The Jets struggled have mightily against the pass the last three weeks. However, they have a great chance to improve as they face the unproven quarterback. The Broncos will look to expose New York’s weakness and throw over the middle as the Jets linebackers have struggled in pass coverage all season. Melvin Gordon is slated to have a great game catching passes out of the backfield.
New York Jets
Last Sunday, the New York Jets lost to the Indianapolis Colts 36-7. The offense showed some promise at the beginning of the game, outside of Darnold’s pick-six. The Jets’ second drive of the game was the best of the season, as they were moving the ball consistently. The Jets were able to move the ball behind big Mekhi Becton and Sam Darnold was able to make throws downfield. Darnold made an amazing play to cap the drive as he escaped trouble in the pocket and found slot receiver Braxton Berrios in the front of the endzone.
Later in the half, left tackle Mekhi Becton left the game with an injury and the offense became stagnant. Head coach Adam Gase refused to throw the ball down the field and it seemed as if he had no faith in the offense. He was not coaching to win. Rookie receiver Lawrence Cager showed some promise in his limited snaps as he used his big body to catch a couple passes downfield.
Thursday’s game on the surface seems pretty insignificant as two winless teams will battle while facing a multitude of injuries. However, tomorrow’s game will have plenty of implications. Reports have been coming out stating that if the Jets lose, owner Christopher Johnson will be looking to move on from Adam Gase. In addition to that, Sam Darnold will need a bounce-back game to silence the #TankforLawrence crowd. He has an opportunity to against a poor Broncos defense missing their star pass rusher Von Miller.
For the Jets to be successful on Thursday, they have to start fast. Gang Green needs to get that initial stop to start the game. The Jets should look more motivated as they are playing on primetime. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams tends to do well against young quarterbacks. The Jets will blitz a lot and make Rypien beat them. On offense, the Jets need to run the ball successfully on first down. This will enable Darold to utilize play-action and have more time to throw. Overall, this game can go two ways.
If the Jets play motivated and do not want to be embarrassed, they will be able to win this game. They have the better player at the most important position. However, the players know that if they lose, coach Gase will be fired. The New York Jets could come out flat against the Denver Broncos.